Stories by James 
on Nifty

Route 66 Rocks!!!

This is the story of the last concert in *Nsync's No Strings Attached Summer Tour.  And what happens when they meet one of their fans, late that night in the hotels hot tub.  This story pairs Joey with one of their fans.

A Step out of Time

Is our history written in stone?  What would happen if one thing in a person's life could be changed. See what happens when the Backstreet Boys take a ski trip that change their lives, for ever.

My New Life
by James


 This story is the sole property of its author and may not be copied in whole or in part without  the  permission of the author.  The posting of this story on any web site must be with the author's prior knowledge and permission. 

This story deals with the fictional relationship between the members of the musical groups  *Nsync, Backstreet Boys (And who ever else shows up in the story.) and a male fan.   The sexual orientation of the members of *Nsync or the Backstreet Boys  are not known by the author and what is depicted in the story came from the imagination of the author.

If you are not 18 years old or it is illegal in your area to view such material please read something else.

These stories can also be found on my web site
Boy Band Fan Fiction
More stories

Infinite Love

This ia a story that spans the generations.  Lance finds love and romance with   someone he feels he has known all his life.

Lance, Mikey, & a Angel named Ethan

This is my newest short story I posted just before Christmas.  Lance has returned home after not being able to complete his life long dream, going into space.  He feels his life has no meaning and he struggles to regain his self worth.  He finds what he is looking for in the form of an abused little boy and his friend Ethan

Last Time:

“This is not over,” Lou shouted.  “You'll be back.  You'll be begging me to take you on.”

Marc drove two blocks from Lou’s office and pulled into a convenient store lot.  After parking he pulled out his cell and dialed a number.

“Mr. Andrews please,” Marc said to the secretary that answered the phone.  “This is Marc Morgan.”

“Marc, its good to hear from you.  How was your vacation?”

“We had a good time, Ted.  Ill need the help of the special project team.”

“We've been waiting for your call.  Everything’s set on our end.  We just need to know when and where.”

“Week after next.  New York.  Check with my manager about my itinerary.  I believe it corresponds with the meeting of the big four.  Get everything set up I feel like harpooning a big fat whale.”

Chapter 75

It was late when Lance and the guys got back from meeting with their lawyer.  

“I wonder, where's Marc?” Joey stated.

“They're no lights on at the house,” Lance observed gazing across the yard. 

“Someone’s in the studio,” JC pointed out.

Entering the control room of the studio they could see Marc at the piano pounding the keys with gusto.  JC flipped the switch turning on the speaker so they could hear what Marc was playing.

“It must be something new he’s working on,” Joey said.  “I don’t recognize it.”

“He’s pissed about something,” Lance said with a sigh. 

“Really pissed, by the way he’s attacking those keys,” Justin agreed.

“Should we find out what’s wrong?”  Chris asked.

“No.  When he’s like this it’s just best to let him work out his anger,” Lance replied.

“How long will that take?”  Chris inquired.

Lance shook his head.  “There’s no telling.  It could be hours.”

They watched Marc for another fifteen minutes.  “I’m beat,” Joey announced.  “I’m going upstairs and crash.”

“That sounds good,” Chris agreed.

JC gave Justin a questioning look.  Justin nodded.  “We’ll be right up,” JC said as the other two headed out the door.  “Lance, you going to turn in?”

“I’ll wait here for Marc,” Lance said as he made himself comfortable on the small couch at the back of the control room.  “We’ll see you all in the morning.”

Marc had just switched off the light in his studio when he noticed Lance asleep on the couch.  Crouching down Marc kissed the end of Lance’s nose.

Lance stirred from his nap and smiled.  “Hi.”

“Hi, yourself.  How long have you been out here?”

“I don’t know.  We got back around eleven.  What time is it?”

“Just a little after three,” Marc softly said.  “Why didn’t you just go to bed?”

“I wanted to wait for you.”

“You should have let me know, you were back.”

“Your playing, was so intense.  We didn’t want to disturb you.”


“The guys.  They’re up stairs.”

“Oh.  Why don’t we take a short walk and try to get some rest.”

“That sounds good,” Lance said while stifling a yawn as he let Marc pull him to his feet.

It was almost eleven when Marc and Lance returned to the studio.  Joey and Chris were lounging by the pool.  Justin must have just gotten up; as he was hunched over his cereal bowl shoveling some super sweet cereal into his mouth.

“Josh still sleeping?”  Marc asked.

“No.  He left a little while ago,” Chris answered.  “Said he had some errands to run."

Justin had finished his breakfast and joined the others.  “Marc, did something happen between you and my mom?”

“No, why?”

“You seemed to be angry at someone last night,” Justin said.  “The way you were playing.”

“My meeting with Lynn went fine.  It was the meeting I had afterward that put me in a bad mood.”

“Who was your meeting with?”  Chris asked.

“I meet with Pearlman.”

“You what?”  Joey asked.

“Lynn had heard from some of her contacts that Lou had been making inquires about me and had been hinting I was about to make a management change.  A change to him.”

“You’re not thinking about changing?  Are you?”  Justin asked.

“No, I’m not going to leave Lynn.  And that’s why I went to see Lou.”  

“Is he trying to get back at us, through you?”  Chris asked.

“I’m not sure.  He want’s to manage me, so bad,” Marc thought for a second.  “He did throw something out.”

“What was that?”

“That I’ve taken money from Lance.”

“Hay, Lance, man; if you got so much extra cash, I could sure use some,” Joey called out.

“I’ve never given Marc any money.”

“Well why did Lou say you did?”  Justin asked.

Marc raised his hand.  “He got the idea from some bank records he managed to hack.  Not long ago I got a call from back home.  Someone was snooping around town, asking questions about me.  It turns out, he was a private eye, hired by Lou.  I planted fake bank statements for him to find.”

“But what if he tries to use them against us?”  Justin asked.

“If he does all you need to do is ask to see them.  The link is no longer functioning.  And if they try to track it back using the info on the printout they will find it originated from Lou’s office.”

“Oh man!”  Chris howled.  “How did you manage to do that?”

“Do what?”  Marc asked looking innocent.

“I think it’s better we not know,” Lance said. 

The guys filled Marc in on what they had decided.  And Marc told them what Lynn had scheduled for the next couple weeks.

Marc noticed Lance had been on the quiet side most of the afternoon.  “Is there something wrong?”

“I was just thinking.  It looks like we are going to be at opposite ends of the country the next couple weeks.”

“From what you told me, it would not be wise to cancel any appearances,” Marc said taking Lance into his arms.  “We’ll still talk several times a day.”

“But it wont be the same.”

“Yeah, I know,” Marc said with a mischievous grin.  “I guess you may have to put up with long walks on a deserted island beach.”

Looking into Marc’s eyes he grinned as he nodded his approval.

Waddie could hear the truck approaching before it topped the hill. 

“Looks like Bubba’s pickup,” Gip called down from the open loft door.

“Damn, it’s be good to see that old cowboy again,” Waddie said.

“Don’t think it’s Bubba driving.  He drives like a bat out of hell,” Gip laughed.  “This driver seems to want to arrive in one piece.”

The old pickup pulled up near Waddie and Gip.  When both men saw who was driving they rushed over to greet the new arrival.

Jannie Anderson-Franz stepped out of the old pickup wearing a big smile.

“Jannie darlin’; don’t just stand there grinnin’, git on over here and give this old cowboy some loven,” Waddie said holding out his arms.

Jannie flew into Waddie’s arms.  As Waddie swung her around they exchanged cheek kisses. 

“What about mine?”  Gip asked when his dad lowered Jannie back to her feet.

“Don’t you fret any.  I have plenty to go around,” Jannie said as she threw her arms around Gip’s neck.

“Darlin’, it’s good to see you.  It’s been way too long since you were able to get home for a visit,” Waddie said as they walked toward the front porch.

“How long you going to be visiting?”  Gip asked.

“I’m not visiting.  I’ve come home.  I’ve got my time in, so I decided it was time to say so long to the army.”

“You retired as a what, Colonel?”  Waddie asked.

“Yep.” Jannie said as she made herself comfortable on one of the rockers.

“What’s your plans?”  Waddie asked.

“I’m not sure.  I’ve come home to see Bubba and my mom.  After that it’s up in the air.”

“I’m sure they’re glad to have you home.” Waddie pointed out.  “But I don’t see you settling down out in the sticks after the life you’ve lived.”

“There’s always openings at the hospital,” Gip added.

“I think I want to try something new.  For years I’ve been helping to patch together the brave young men protecting our country.  I’ve seen too many horrible things and I want nothing to do with it any more.”

A commotion down by the barn drew everyone’s attention.

Lucy and Lady were standing just outside the barn door looking out into the back pasture.  The other horses that had been grazing had all turned and seemed to be looking at something.  Slowly the horses began moving toward the middle of the pasture.  Lucy and Lady moved to join the other horses.

“I wonder what’s going on?”  Gip asked.

“Don’t know.  But for Lucy to leave the safety of the barn with her fold, it must be something big,” Waddie said as he got up to investigate.  Gip and Jannie followed.

By the time they reached the gate to the pasture the horses were standing in a lose circle looking at something in the center. 

The new colt had moved to the center of the circle and acted as though she was rubbing her head against something.  But there was nothing there.

The three of them stopped in there tracks when they heard what sounded like a child’s laughter.

“Did you hear that?”  Waddie asked softly.

“Yeah, I did,” Gip whispered.

“Colts can’t laugh.  Can they?” Jannie asked.

Waddie felt the hair on the back of his neck start to tingle.  A feeling he’s had many times in his life.   Gip and Jannie also felt the presence. 

“Ah, Mr. Uriel.  Is that you?” Waddie asked toward the colt. 

“Of course not,” a deep voice chuckled from behind them.

All three of them jumped and turned to face the voice.  But no one was there.

Jannie closed her eyes and thought for a moment.  “Mr. Uriel sir, are you with us?”

“Yes my child,” Mr. Uriel said as he slowly materialized.

The laughter of a child drew everyone’s attention back to the pasture. 

“Lady, likes me,” Ryan giggled as he became visible. 

“Lordy, son, where’d you come from?”  Gip asked.

Ryan giggled again.  “Lordy.”


“You asked where I came from.  Lordy.”

“Ryan,” Mr. Uriel said sternly.

“Sorry Sir,” a blushing Ryan replied.  “I.  I mean we, were sent by the Lord.”    

Mr. Uriel moved next to Ryan. 

Waddie looked between the two.  “It must be important for the lord to send two of his angels.”

“Actually, this is Ryan’s mission.  I’m just here to supervise,” Mr. Uriel stated.

Ryan was smiling up at Mr. Uriel when he was given a nod. 

Ryan walked over to the three adults and took Jannie’s hand.  “Will you walk with me?”

Jannie was surprised to be selected.  “Of course I will.”  Taking Ryan’s hand they walked out into the pasture.

Waddie and Gip watched as Jannie and the little angel walked to the tip of the hill.  “What are they doing up there?”  Waddie asked.

“Jannie has been questioning her life  for some time.  That’s why she left the medical corps.  She’s looking for meaning in her life.  Ryan has been sent to give her some options.”

Marc was looking for something to eat.  Lance and the guys were at another meeting with their lawyers.  Finding cold chicken from last nights supper he decided there was enough for a couple sandwiches.  He was sitting at the breakfast bar looking out at the pool when the phone rang.

“Hello,” Marc answered.

“Hi Marc, this is Steve.  Is Joey there?”

“No Steve.  They’re all at a meeting.  You still on tour?”

“No, I’m on a two week hiatus.  Britney is in L. A. filming her new music videos.”

“Steve, do you have any plans?”

“I was hoping to hang out with my bro.  Have any idea how long they will be tied up?”

“From the way Josh was talking it will be late tonight.”

“Bummer,” Steve mumbled.

“Steve, if you've got some time, I could use your help.  And I’m willing to pay for your services.”

“Ah, what kind of services?  It’s nothing illegal is it?”

“No,” Marc laughed.  “It’ll be fun.”

Lance pulled into the garage, parking next to Marc’s van.  The house was quiet and dark.

Looking out the patio door he saw the faint glow of the pool lights. 

Marc was trying to relax by swimming laps.  His day with Steve had been fruitful.  Once Marc explained what he was after and Steve was more than willing to help.  As their day progressed Steve came up with more ideas.  When Marc finally was ready to call it a night Steve said he wanted to continue working.  

He didn’t hear anyone come into the pool area.  It wasn’t until Marc brushed against something soft as he made a turn.  He new, he wasn’t alone.

Two figures slipped in the front door.

“I thought you said no one would be here,” Howie whispered.

“Everyone said they were going home,” Joey quietly replied.  “Maybe someone left the pool lights on.”

Cautiously they moved through the living room and into the kitchen.  They froze when they saw they were not alone.  They stood transfixed watching the activity at the side of the pool.

Joey nudged Howie, with a quick nod of the head he indicated that they should move back into the shadows.  Taking Howie’s elbow they made their way up the stairs to the second floor.  Before they could reach the top of the stairs they both started to softly giggle. 

“Man, I didn’t expect that,” Joey said holding his sides.

“I agree.  That was the last thing I expected to see.  It sheds a different light on our Lansten.  Were they wearing, what I think they were wearing?”

Joey was still chuckling as he pulled the blinds in his bedroom.   “I’ve seen Marc in his chaps before.  I didn’t know, Lance had a pair too.”

“Do you think Marc was enjoying it?”

“You heard him?”

“Yeah, it was just kind of weird hearing him call out.  “Bring it on home cowboy!”

“You never imagined Marc as a bottom,” Joey said as he pulled Howie into his arms.

Early the next morning Joey was about to take Howie back to where they had parked his car.  Joey felt it would be safe, none of the other guys would be out this early.  They were about to get into Joey’s car when they heard.  “Good morning.”  Turning around their stomachs did flip flops as they saw Marc jogging up the driveway.

Marc was wearing only a pair of skimpy jogging shorts and jogging shoes.  “You guys are up early,” Marc said as he slowed to a walk.

Joey didn’t know how to respond.  Marc had caught them leaving the house together.

Marc had to control his urge to laugh at the expressions of his friends faces.  ‘Talk about deer caught in headlights.’  He had to fight the urge of reaching over and lifting their chins to close their gaping mouths.

“Joe, can you let me in?  I don’t have my key.”

“Ah, sure,” Joey answered snapping out of his stupor.   They followed Marc to the front door.  Joey reached out and opened the door for Marc.

“Thanks,” Marc said as they entered the house.  “What do you guys have planned for today?”

Howie closed the door behind them, then gave Joey a questioning look.

“Ah, no plans really,” Joey said.  “We were just going to hang out.  It’s been a long week and today is the first day we don’t have meetings with our lawyers.”

“Sounds like everyone could use some time to relax,” Marc said as he headed toward the pool.  “I’m in the mood for some fun.  How about we hit a couple amusement parks?”

“That sounds like a great idea,” Joey said.

“Howie, are any of your guys in town?” Marc asked.  “Maybe they would like to join us.”

“Kevin and Brian went back home to visit with their families.  A. J. is off doing his thing in New York.  I think Nick said something about hanging out at home.”

“Why don’t you give him a call and see if he would want to come along,” Marc suggested as he kicked of his running shoes. 

“Joe, give Chris, Justin, and Josh a call.  See if they are interested.”  Hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his shorts he pushed them down and steeped out of them.  “I’m going to take a quick swim to cool down,” Marc said just before he dove naked into the pool.

Joey and Howie were staring openmouthed into the pool when Lance came in. 

“Hi guys, what’s up?”  Getting no response, Lance followed their gaze.  Marc was swimming laps but he didn’t notice what he was wearing until he did a flip turn and his bare ass popped into view. 

Rolling onto his back, Marc floated while he caught his breath.  He smiled when he saw Lance standing at the edge of the pool.  “You're up,” Marc said as he climbed out of the pool.

“And you’re all wet,” Lance said handing Marc a towel.

Quickly drying, Marc wrapped the towel around his waist.  “Better?” Marc asked before giving Lance a quick kiss.

“Much,” Lance replied.  Looking at his still catatonic friends.  “What’s going on?”

“Damn!  The sight of my ass turned them to stone,” Marc chuckled.

Joey was the first to react.  “Ah, what?”

“In two days we’re going to be heading to opposite coasts.  How about a fun day?” Marc said.  “Start by hitting some amusement parks.”

“I’m up for that,” Lance said.  “You guys going to join us?”

“Ah, yeah.  We’re going to check with the other guys.”

“Well if we are going to do this, let’s get you dressed,” Lance said as he picked up Marc’s running shorts and shoes.

“What were you doing back there?”  Lance asked as they walked across the yard to their home.

“Just wanted to see their reaction.”

“Well? Did you get the reaction you were looking for?”

“Yep, didn’t you notice they were both tenting.”


“Yep.  Oh, they spent the night together too.”

“They did?  I wonder. . . “

“I think so,” Marc said as he slid open the patio door.

“Are you sure?” 

“No.  But I have an idea.”

Everyone was lounging around the pool when Lance and Marc returned.  Everybody was dressed casually.  But Marc and Lance had added matching cowboy hats. 

Marc grinned at Lance.  Joey and Howie’s faces had turned deep red.  They had been watched, making love, last night.

When Josh realized how many were in their group he called for a limo.  After some discussion it was decided to spend the first part of the day at MGM Studio then move over to Universal Studios.

At the MGM Studio the group was waiting for their escorts, guides when an older woman approached their group. 

“Excuse me.  Aren’t you Marc Newman?”

“Why yes.  How may I help you?”

“If I may have a little bit of your time sir.  I have been asked to bring escort you to a brief meeting.”

“My I ask a meeting with who?”

“Mr. Davis, head of human resources.”

“And way would Mr. Davis want to see me?”  Marc asked.

“Please sir.  Mr. Davis will make it all clear.”

Marc looked briefly to his friends.

“I assure you, you will rejoin your friends shortly.”

“It can’t hurt to find out what they want,” Joey said.

Marc’s shuttle pulled up to the VIP entrance to the Tower of Terror as the guys were walking up.

“Have I missed much?” 

“Not really,” J C answered.  “Justin and Chris had to hit every souvenir shop between the front gate and here.”

Entering the back entrance to the tower they were shown to a small waiting area. 

“Ok, what did they want with you?”  Joey asked.

“They offered me a job.”

“What kind of job?”  Lance asked.

“They want me to join the staff of the music department.”

“Doing what?” Nick asked.

“Working as associate director of a youth honor orchestra Disney puts together.  Have you heard of Disney Magic Music Days?”   

“Yeah,” Chris said.   “That’s where they bring all those bands to perform.”

“Close,” Marc replied.  “Bands, orchestras, choirs, dance ensembles, and drill teams audition for the honor of being part of the "Disney Show."  Disney offers performing arts workshops as a way to sharpen their performance skills.   The most talented come together to form the honor band and honor orchestra.  I’ve been asked to work with the orchestra.”

“You going to do it?”  Lance asked.

“Not with everything I got going right now.  We’ll talk again after I return from the Japan concerts.  In the mean time I’ll have Lynn look into it further.”

“Come on, times a wasting,” Chris said rubbing his hands together.  “Let’s see what the tower has in store for us.”

They spent four hours at the Disney park before heading over to Universal.  That day turned out to be what everyone needed.  The tension of the last couple weeks seemed to drain from everyone.  Worries and problems dissolved into the fun and laughter of the day.  After a late dinner at the Hard Rock Café the group headed over to Pleasure Island to dance the night away.

The sand felt damp and warm as it oozed between Marc’s toes.  Sitting in the shade of a palm tree he watched the waves gently roll in.

“You look like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders,” came a voice from behind him.

“Not quite the whole world,”   Marc said as he looked up at Matt.

Matt looked around the beach.  “No beach party with Lance?”

“Not tonight.  We had our fun before we fell asleep.”

Matt sat down next to Marc. “ I got the feeling you wanted to talk.”
Marc smiled.  “I hoped you would pick up on my thoughts.”

“Your thoughts came through loud and clear.  What’s up?”

“Just a idea I had.  Actually a question.  Is it possible to enter the dreams of someone else?”

“Of course.  That’s how we met, remember?”

Marc nodded.

“Who’s dreams do you want to visit?”  Matt asked.

“Lou Pearlman.”

Matt was surprised at Marc’s answer.  “What’s going on with *Nsync in your reality?”

“The guys have left him.  They’ve got a new manager and label.”

“Oh,” Matt said in understanding.  “And Lou is making their lives a living hell.”

“Yeah.  Did it happen in your reality?”

“Yeah, it’s happened in most all realities.”

“How did it turn out in your reality?”  Marc asked.

“Lou managed to delay the release of their new album for months.  Their tour started way late,” Matt said.  “In a way, I owe Lou a big thanks.”


“If it wasn’t for his court battles with the guys I may never have met the love of my life.”

“How’s that?” Mac inquired.

The album was delayed until spring and so was their tour.  A freak storm cause them to cancel their show in Joliet.  When they rescheduled the hotel they had originally booked was not available.  They ended up booking a smaller hotel, which I happen to own.”

“So you met them at your hotel?”

“Actually in the hotel hot tub.”

Marc had to smile at the image of the meeting. 

“But that was in my reality,” Matt pointed out.  “Now why do you want to visit Lou’s dreams?”

“Lou and I are about to clash.”

“Over *Nsync?”

“Not totally.  Lou is starting to interfere in my life as well.”

“So what have you got planned?”

“In a few days I will be executing a plan that should take Lou out of the picture.  I just want to leave him a few subconscious suggestions.”

“I like the way you think my friend.  Mind if I stick around and watch?”

Somewhere on the other side of Orlando, in a gated estate, on the upper floor of a spacious mansion, in a custom made bed, slept a large man.  Despite all the opulence surrounding him, the man wasn’t having a peaceful night's rest.  Thrashing about in his bed Lou’s eyes popped open as he yelled, NO!”

Lou fought to control the rising panic he felt from the dream.  He knew it was just a bad dream, but it felt so real.  Sitting up in his bed he reached with shaking hands for the glass of water on his bed side table.  Taking a few sips his breathing started to return to normal.  “For heavens sakes, it was just a dream,” Lou chastised himself.  But Lou felt there was more to it.  He tried to recall the dream but couldn’t remember much about it.  What little he could remember didn’t make any sense.  “Why was I running from a over cooked turkey?” 

Laying back down, Lou tried to go back to sleep but his mind just wouldn’t let him.  “It must have been that rich dessert I had just before going to bed.  Yes that’s it.  I’ll have to cut back on the sweets before bed.”

Lou stared at the ceiling until the first rays of sunlight filtered into his room.

A limo pulled up to the VIP entrance of the Orlando airport.  As the bags were being unloaded Marc pointed out his and asked they be set aside.  A shuttle from the private jet terminal arrived for Marc.  Indicating his bags he told the driver he would be back in a few minutes.  The guys arrived in the VIP lounge just minutes before their plane started to board.

“You guys have a good trip,” Marc said as he gave each one a hug. 

“Call me later,” Lance said as he hugged Marc. Then he whispered  “I love you.”

“I love you to,” Marc softly replied.

“Marc, when does your flight leave?”  Justin asked.

“As soon as I get on the plane.”

“Why do we have to fly commercial?”  Chris complained.

“Because Lou is too cheep to pay for a charter,” Joey said as they started to board their plane.

Lance ended up with a window seat.  Take off was the worst part of the flight for him and for some reason there seemed to be a backup of planes waiting to take off.  Finally their plane seemed to be next to turn on to the runway for take off.  But the plane didn’t move.  Looking out the window he saw why.  A private jet had moved into take off position ahead of their plane.  Lance smiled when he recognized the emblem on the planes tail, the Phoenix.  “Bye, love,” Lance softly said.

As soon as Marc had buckled himself in his seat, the plane started moving.  In minutes they were approaching the end of the take off runway.  There must have been fifteen large commercial jets waiting to take off.  To Marc’s surprise his plane pulled right behind the jet accelerating down the runway for take off.  His plane hardly had stopped for less then thirty seconds before they started to accelerate for takeoff.  Halfway down the runway they leapt into the air.  As they made a slow turn Marc could see the large commercial jet ahead of them just starting to climb into the sky. 

The seat belt light had just went out when the steward put his head around the corner.  “The rest of your party is in the conference room.  Would you like something to drink?”

“Thank you.  Just a iced tea please,” Marc said as he headed for the conference room.

“Good morning gentlemen,” Marc greeted the occupants of the conference room.  Taking his seat at the head of the table Marc picked up a folder.

“That’s the photos you had Steve Fatone take,” Marc’s lawyer, Mr. Andrews said.

Marc looked at the photos in the folder and smiled.  “Perfect!  Just perfect!”

A limousine and van were waiting as the private jet taxied up to the terminal.  Luggage was being loaded into the van as Marc and his staff made their way to the limousine.  In no time they were headed into New York city. 

“Have we gotten confirmation from all our guests?”  Marc inquired.

“We received the last one this morning,” Rose Carrington, the team leader, stated.

“Were you able to get a hold of Pearlman’s itinerary?”

“Yes.  He’s arriving late tomorrow afternoon.  He’s booked a suite in a hotel just two blocks from ours.  It looks like he’s planning to attend all of the meetings on Wednesday.”

“And the cocktail party?  Are we sure he will hear about it?”

“I’ve talked to several of the executive assistance,” Rose replied.  “They will make sure Lou overhears a few conversations about the party.”

The first rays of the new day, filtered through the edges of the heavy drapes of the spacious bedroom.  Slowly a shaft of light moved across the elegant plush carpeting, slowing climbing up the side of a massive bed.  The light moved across the surface of the empty bed.  The journey of the ray of morning light was watched by a burly eyed, Lou Pearlman.  He had taken refuge in a large wing back chair, after he awoke from another nightmare. 

He was exhausted when he went to bed and was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.  But a night of restful sleep was not to be.  A little after one in the morning he woke once again form the nightmare.  It was just like the dream he had the night before.  The only difference was this one lasted a little longer.  He found himself being chased once again by this big bird.  But unlike the night before, he didn’t wake up as he was being chased.  This time the bird had pounced on him.  Knocking him down and the bird started to rip bits of flesh from his body and devour it.  He woke up just as the bird started to pull another hunk of flesh from Lou.

The dream so unnerved him, he made himself a stiff glass of whiskey, quickly downing the drink as he was huddled in the safety of his chair.  The rest of the night he sat watching for some sign that this terrible night was over.

Marc was waiting in a traffic jam when his cell rang.  He smiled when he glanced at the caller ID.  “Good morning James.”

“Good morning,” Lance chuckled.  “You sound mighty chipper this morning.”

“You would too if it was almost noon.  I’ve been up for hours and just finished my first rehearsal.”

“You know how lucky you are?  You don’t have to deal with jet lag.”

“Poor baby.  Are we having a bad day?”

“No.  Only a slow start.  What have you got planned this week?”  Lance asked.

Before Marc could answer his phone beeped indicating he had another call.  “Can you hold on a moment?  I have another call coming in.”

“Yea, sure,” Lance answered just before he heard a click.

A minute later Marc came back on the phone.

“Sorry.  That was the Jill , the production manager on Rosie’s show.”

“Really!  What did she want?”

“She heard I was in town and wanted to know if I’d be interested in being a mystery guest.”

“Cool!  You going to do it?”

“Yes, it should be fun.”

“When are you going to be on?”  Lance asked.

“Tomorrow.  One of her scheduled guests had to cancel.”

“Well have fun.  What else you have planned?”

“I’ve scheduled meetings with some of the foundation's staff.”

“Is there a problem?”

“No.  I’m still trying to get a grip on all the different things the foundation is into.”

“Our ride has just arrived,” Lance announced.  “I’ll give you a call tonight.”

“Okay, talk at you later.  Love you James.”

“I love you too.  Bye.”

Marc had been waiting in a small dressing room one floor below where Rosie taped her show.  A soft knock brought Marc out of his thoughts.

“Come in.”

“We’re ready for you Marc,” Helen; one of Rosie’s production assistant announced.

“All right, let’s do this,” Marc said rising from his seat.

The guys were gathered around the TV, in their suite, when there was a knock at the door.  Justin went to answer it.

“Hi, Johnny,” Justin greeted their manager.

“Is everyone ready?”  Johnny asked.

“Here he is,” Joey shouted excitedly.

Johnny walked into the living room with Justin, wondering what was going on.

“What’s so interesting?” Johnny inquired.

“Rosie has a mystery guest,” Chris answered.

“I take it’s someone you know,” Johnny said as he found a seat.  Rosie was sitting behind her desk with a blindfold on complaining about how much she hated trying to figure out who the mystery guest, was. 
The audience roared when the curtains parted and the mystery guest walked out.

“It’s Marc,” Johnny exclaimed.

Marc waved at the audience as he crossed the stage.  He gave John McDaniel a salute before he sat down.

Rosie had deduced from the audience reaction that her guest was male.  That was the only clue she managed to get from her guest.  When she asked a question Marc would answer in a very deep voice with the thickest Texas accent.
That accent seemed to really throw Rosie off track.  It wasn’t until she asked if he had ever been on the show?  An affirmative answer set her mind into gear.  But the answers she got only confused her.  In the end Rosie was not able to identify her mystery guest.
“I knew she wouldn’t guess Marc,” Chris stated.  “The moment he started using that accent, he had it in the bag.”

“Where did he get that accent?” Justin asked.

All heads turned to Lance.

“Well, he kind of picked it up when he was living on a ranch in Texas.”

“When was that?”  Joey asked.

Lance gave them an abbreviated account of their trip to Texas.  Lance ended the story just as Rosie returned from commercial break.

Johnny was chuckling as Marc’s segment came to and end.  Looking around the room all he saw was each of the guys sitting there open mouthed.

“I don’t believe that just happened,” Chris said softly.  “Lance, did you know what he was going to do?”

“No, he didn’t say anything to me about this.  I don’t know what has gotten in to him.”

“I have an idea,” Johnny said.  “The other day I found Marc waiting for you to get out of a meeting.  We had a chance to talk.  He had just come from a meeting with Lou and he seemed to be troubled with it.  He told me about the pressure Lou was putting on him to get him to leave Lynn and come over to TransCon.”

“He told us about the meeting,” Josh confirmed.

“And you all know Lou.  If he wants something, he will do almost anything,” Johnny pointed out.

“I still don’t know what he did today has to do with Lou,” Chris said.

“In one bold move Marc took away the most powerful weapon Lou had over him.”

“Now I see,” Joey said.  “The one thing Lou could do is to ruin his career by starting  false rumors.”

“Well, Lou is going to have a tough job coming up with something to use on Marc,” Justin said with a chuckle.  “Marc admitted to everything under the sun.”

“I just want to know,” said Chris.  “Where did he come up with those tabloid photos?”

“I have an idea,” Joey said holding up his hand.  “I think Steve had a hand in the photos.  The shot of Marc meeting with the alien leader.  I recognize the alien mask.  It hangs in Steve’s room.  And a lot of the photos were pictures taken while on tour this summer.  They’ve been doctored and Steve has the knowledge to do it.”

“I liked the picture from the last show,” Justin said.  “That long haired rocker was so hot.”

Every looked at Justin.

“Yeah, it was,” Lance agreed with a smile.

“Rosie’s reaction was priceless,” Chris laughed. 

“I think that shot kind of backfired on Marc,” Lance chuckled.  “When Rosie wouldn’t believe the tattoos were fake.”

“Yeah, the whole audience wanted Marc to prove it,” Justin giggled.

“Well, he did prove it,” Johnny pointed out.  “I wonder how many tabloids will have the photo of Marc with his shirt off being pawed by Rosie?”

Everyone looked around the room then said in unison, “All of them.”

Marc was stuck in midtown traffic on his way to Lincoln Center for a rehearsal when his cell rang.  Glancing at the caller ID he smiled.  “Hello.”

“Can’t you keep your shirt on?”  Lance laughed.

“It wasn’t my idea,” Marc chuckled.

“You didn’t put up much of a fight.”

“Do you think I went too far?”

“No,” Lance laughed.  “You definitely made an impression on the audience.”

“What are you guys up to today?”  Marc asked trying to change the subject.

“We’re on our way to the hospital.”

“What happened, who’s sick?”  Marc asked with concern.

“Oh, no!   Everyone’s okay.  We’re making an appearance at the children’s hospital.”

“Oh,” Marc said with relief.

“What are you up to?  And do you intend to keep your shirt on?”

“Okay, I’m not going to hear the end of this.  Am I?  To answer your question.  I’m on my way to rehearsal at Lincoln Center.  And I do not intend to take my shirt off.”

Rehearsal went well and Marc was on his way back to his hotel when his cell rang.   Unknowingly, Lou had a traveling companion, one of Marc’s team.  She reported Lou’s plane had landed and he was on his way into the city.  She was following in her own taxi.  Marc had an idea and asked to be called back as Lou was approaching his hotel.  Telling his driver what he needed.  The driver said “No problem.”

Lou’s taxi pulled up to the hotel entrance and the doorman stepped up to open his door.  Lou stepped out and waited for his driver to get his bags from the trunk.  The traffic had become quite heavy in front of the hotel and the honking of a car horn caught Lou’s attention.  His jaw dropped as he recognized the passenger riding in the back of a passing taxi. 

Marc made eye contact with Lou as his cab slowly passed by.  Marc gave Lou a slight nod as his taxi moved past the hotel entrance. 

The reason Lou was in New York was because the Big Four, were meeting for their yearly strategy meeting.  Four of the largest entertainment companies in the industry,  controlled the majority of the worlds recording industry.  And Lou was there, representing TransCon.  He was there to shmooze with the big wigs.

After a good nights sleep Lou made his way to the hotel where the movers and shakers of the music industry were meeting.  A large ballroom had been turned into a display area where suppliers showed the latest ideas in music production.  Software companies presented there newest idea for copyright protection.  Graphic designers showed what they could do in the area of cd designs.  Lighting design, stage design, sound design, every aspect of recording and staging was represented.  Even companies that specialized in souvenir merchandise. 

Lou was talking with a salesman offering bobble head dolls when he glanced across the room.  Several of BMG’s top producers were talking with someone he could not see because his back was to him.  He recognized the look in the producers eyes.  They were on the hunt for new talent and were double teaming a potential client.  Evidently they weren’t getting anywhere.  They both handed the guy their business cards as their conversation ended.  Lou snickered to himself.  He enjoyed seeing these young hotshots crash and burn. 

The enjoyment was brief because when the guy turned Lou’s heart skipped a beat. 

Marc spotted Lou across the room as he pocketed the business cards.  He nodded to Lou in recognition before moving on to the next display.  Lou tried to follow Marc but lost him in the crowd.

Marc couldn’t help but smile as he watched Lou from behind a ficus tree on the mezzanine level.  Lou looking all over the exhibit hall for him.  Marc managed to slip out of the hotel unseen.

Marc was walking across the lobby of his hotel when he was approached by the  Concierge.

“Good afternoon Mr. Morgan.”

“Good afternoon Albert,” Marc replied.  Noticing a small envelope in his hand Marc inquired, “Do you have something for me?”

“Yes, a message from I believe, your manager.”

“Thank you,” Marc said as he took the envelope.    Once on the elevator he read the short note and smiled.  When the elevator door opened he turned left instead of right toward his suite.  Marc knocked on the door receiving a “one moment,” shout from the other side.

The door flew open and Lynn said, “Oh, it’s you.”

“I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment,” Marc chuckled.

“I was waiting for room service,” Lynn said stepping aside to let Marc in.  Before Lynn could close the door room service arrived.

“I didn’t expect you to arrive until tomorrow.”

“I decided to come a day earlier.  There’s a meeting I want to attend.”

“The Big Four?”

“Yes, how did you know?”

“I’ve been checking them out.  I’ve just come from the exhibit hall.” 

“Have you made any contacts?” Lynn asked.

Marc reached into his pocket pulling out a dozen business cards.  “A few,” he said as he handed the cards to Lynn.

Lynn flipped through the cards before looking at Marc with a raised eyebrow.  “These are all top producers.”

“I know.  I recognized their names from when the guys would talk about who they wanted to produce their next album.”

“Should I contact any of these?” Lynn asked.

“No, at least not right now.  The music I’m interested now, will take a different kind of producer.”

“I’ll see what kind of contacts I can make,” Lynn said.  “What time do we need to leave for you concert tomorrow?”

“The limo will pick us up at six,” Marc said as he moved to leave.  “Oh, we will be going to a cocktail party after the concert.”

“A symphony party?”

“No, just a small gathering of producers I’m interested in.”

“Marc, what are you up to?”

“Nothing, why?”

“For one, it seems most of this whole floor is reserved for the Phoenix Foundation.  When I inquired on what room you were staying the front desk clerk called someone.  Within two minutes your lawyer, Mr. Andrews showed up.”

“He asked me where I was staying, then had me cancel my reservations at another hotel and got me this suite.  He wouldn’t tell me what was going on but from the people we meet in the hall I got the feeling something big with the foundation is in the works.”

Marc sighed, deciding how much to tell Lynn.  “Your right, the foundation has rented most of this floor.  There will be a board of directors meeting later this week.  Tom and Sara will be arriving tomorrow, they’re both on the board.  The main focus of the meeting will be reports on all the different areas the foundation has interests in.”

“Just how big is this foundation?” Lynn inquired.

“Why don’t you keep Saturday morning free and see for yourself.”

Lynn agreed to attend the meeting and agreed to have a early light supper with Marc and his family before the concert.

The next morning Marc shared a elevator ride with Lynn as she was on her way to the Big Four meetings.  Marc’s day was jammed packed with rehearsals, final tuxedo  fitting, and picking up his family at the airport before the concert.

Sara, Lynn and Tom joined Marc in his suite for a light supper before he had to leave to get ready for the concert.  The others followed an hour later.

“These are great seats,” Tom commented as Sara and Lynn took their seats just three boxes from the stage.

Lynn scanned the theater checking out what the other women were wearing.  “Wow!” she exclaimed.

“What is it?” Sara asked.

“It’s a who’s who of the music industry tonight,” Lynn whispered.  “The boxes across from us.  Those men, control most of the worlds music industry.  And the six and seventh rows contain the top producers.”

Tom chuckled, “Check out the fifteenth row, aisle seat center section.”

“Well I’ll be,” Lynn murmured.  “It’s Lou Pearlman.  I didn’t think he knew what real music was.”

“If seat location indicates anything,” Tom said.  “Lou isn’t close to being one of the movers and shakers.”

“The only thing he shakes is his big belly when he moves,” Sara giggled.

“Congratulations sweety,” Lynn bubbled as she hugged and gave Marc a kiss on the cheek.  “That was totally awesome.”

“Thank you,” Marc said as he returned the hug.

“Well done little brother,” Sara said as she hugged her brother.

“Thanks sis. “

“Can you make a living, playing the organ?”  Tom said with a grin.

“Yeah, if you find the right gigs.”

“How many weddings would you have to play to make what you did tonight?”  Sara asked.

“It would take a month of weddings,” Marc chuckled.

“Well, we’re going to head back to the hotel,” Tom said.  “I hope we can get a cab .”

Marc motioned to someone in the hall.  “Eric will see you get back to the hotel.”

“You still have it,” Lou chuckled as he grabbed a glass of champagne from the tray of a passing waiter.  He was proud of himself for being able to bullshit his way in.   Sipping his drink as he scanned the room.  Groups of men and women were scattered around the large room.  Laughter coming from one corner of the room drew Lou’s attention.  Clive Davis, along with the top men from Warner and EMI laughing about something.  Clive turned to shake someone’s hand and Lou almost dropped his drink when he saw Lynn Harless talking with the group of men.  Clive seemed to be making introductions to the newcomer.  Clive motioned to someone out of Lou’s line of sight.

Marc stepped forward to shake the hand of Alan Rogers, head of Sony Classical.

“You look like you have seen a ghost,” Edward Peabody noted as he caught the arm of the swaying Lou Pearlman.

Lou looked at the man next to him.  Confused, it took a moment for him to recognize the man next to him.  Edward Peabody, a member of the board of directors of Trans Continental.  “Ed, what are you doing here?”

“I’m in town for the meetings, the same as you.”

Lou upended his drink then looked around for another. 

Edward followed Lou’s stare across the room.  “Isn’t that Lynn Harless, talking to Clive?”

“Yes,” Lou said in a low growl.

Lou found a quiet corner where he could watch as Lynn and Marc made their way around the room, talking with small groups of men and women. 

Taking Lynn’s elbow Marc guided them to a group of three men and a woman. 

Marc reached out to shake the hand of a tall white haired gentleman.

“Congratulations, on a outstanding performance tonight.”

“Thank you,” Marc said.  

Lynn looked the man up and down trying to place him. 

“Edward, I don’t know if you know my manager, Lynn Harless?” 

“I believe we met once, last year,” Lynn stated.  “It’s Edward Peabody, isn’t it?”

“Yes.  I’m honored you remember me.”  Turning to Marc.  “We meet briefly after a board meeting of Trans Continental.”

“Lynn, this is Susan Anderson, a board member with Warner,” Marc introduced the tall blond woman.

“I’m glad to meet you, Susan,” Lynn said shaking her hand.

“Matt Richard, of A & M Records.”
“Matt, I’m familiar with your work,” Lynn said.

“And last but not least, George Summers, member of the executive board of Sony.”

“George, it’s good to meet you,” Lynn said shaking his hand.

Marc turned to Edward, “Has our pigeon showed up?”

“Yes!”  Edward laughed.  “I thought he was going to have a stroke when he saw the two of you talking to Clive.”

A smile spread across Marc’s face.

“He’s been spying on you most of the night,” Susan added.

“Something tells me Lou won’t be sleeping too well tonight,” Marc chuckled. 

“I don’t know,” George said.  “The way he’s been drinking he’ll probably pass out before he makes it to his room.”

“It’s getting late.  You ready to leave?”  Marc asked Lynn.

Lynn agreed and after saying their good nights left for their hotel.

After Marc left Edward watched Lou stagger to the door.

“Do you think he’s going to make it?” Susan asked as she watched Lou leaned against the door frame.

“I’ll see he gets into a cab,” Edward sighed.

Relaxing in the limo Lynn’s curiosity got the best of her.  “Marc, I’m impressed that you seemed to know a lot of the people in the music industry.  I’m just wondering about the last four we talked with.”

“I guess it’s all right to tell you,” Marc chuckled.  “You’ll be seeing them again at the board meeting tomorrow.  They kind of work for me.”

Lynn’s jaw dropped.  “But they are board members of big recording companies.”

“Yes they are.  They are the representatives of the Phoenix Foundation on each of the boards.”

Lynn sat quiet for a few minutes.  “Does that mean that the foundation owns a major share of Trans Continental?”

Marc didn’t answer.  He just grinned at her.

Lynn attended the board meeting as Marc’s guest.  She was amazed at just how deep the foundation was connected with the music industry. 

Lou washed down a half dozen aspirin with his third cup of coffee.  He chastised himself for drinking so much last night.  His hands flew to his temples when the phone rang.

“Hello, Pearlman here.”

“Lou, this is Edward.  How are you feeling this morning?”

“I’ve got one hell of a fucking hangover.  What do you think?”

“Sorry to hear that.  I was wondering if we could get together this afternoon?”

“Sure, what time?”

“I’m in meetings until two.  How about I send a car for you around one thirty?”

“That sounds good,” Lou replied.  “See you around two.”

Lou was eager to talk to Edward.  He planned to find out what his connection was to Marc Newman.

The board meeting adjourned a little after one.  Lynn and Marc talked briefly before she had to go pack for her flight home.

“Marc, she’s here,” Rose Carrington said.

“Good.  What’s the word on Pearlman?”

“The car picked him up five minutes ago.  He should be here in fifteen.”

Edward met Lou in the lobby of the hotel. 

“Lou, how are you?”

“A lot better.  Where are we going?”

“Up to my suite.  There are a few people I’d like you to meet.”

Edward knocked on the door. 

‘Why is he knocking?’ Lou wondered.  'I thought he said we were going to his suite.’

The door opened.  A petite young lady motioned for them to enter.  “Have a seat gentlemen, he’s just finishing up a meeting.  He’ll be with you shortly.”

As they sat down Lou turned to Edward, “Ed, what’s going on?  Who are we going to meet?”

“I’ve asked you here so you could meet the man I represent on the board of directors,”  Edward said just before the door at the other end of the room opened.

Two people stepped out.  Lou gasped when he recognized them.

“Ms. Hathaway, thank you for you time.  You can expect to hear from us in a couple days.”

“I want to thank you again Mr. Morgan, for this opportunity.  I’ll be waiting for your decision.” 

Turning to leave she noticed the two men sitting in the room.  “Lou!” she  exclaimed.

“Liz, what are you doing here?”

“Lou, I’ll be with you in a moment,” Marc said as he escorted Liz Hathaway to the door.

“Mr. Morgan, I’d like to explain about Lou Pearlman,” Liz said as stepped through the door.

“There’s no need,” Marc said.  “Your association with Mr. Pearlman was noted in your background check.”

Her back stiffened at that statement.  “Then I guess I won’t be hearing back from you.”

“Your association with Mr. Pearlman won’t change what we discussed.  You’ll be hearing back from me.”

Closing the door Marc quickly scanned Lou for his reaction.  Lou sat open mouthed, the color drained from his face.

“Edward, I think Lou could use a drink.”

Edward got up and went to the bar.  “Marc, can I get you anything?”

“No, I’m fine.  If you and Lou would join me in the office we can get started.”

Edward handed Lou his drink then motioned to the open door.  Lou gulped down about half of his drink to help calm his shaking hands. 

Lou followed Edward into a room that had been set up as an office.  There were three other people in the room beside Marc.  Lou recognized them as the three that had been talking with Edward at last nights party. 

Marc had taken a seat behind a large desk.  On the wall behind Marc hung a large oval shield with  a flaming Phoenix on it.

“Shall we get started.  Lou, I don’t think you’ve meet the others.  Susan Anderson, sits on the executive board of Warner.  George Summers, sits on the board of Sony. And Matt Richard, he had just joined the board of A & M Records.  And of course you know Edward Peabody, a member of the board of Trans Continental.”

Lou was impressed and confused at the same time.  Turning to Edward, “I don’t understand, what connection do you have with Marc Newman, Morgan, what ever?”

Edward looked at Marc.  Marc nodded to answer.

“Lou, the others and myself sit on the boards of entertainment companies as representatives of the Phoenix Foundation.  And Marc is the head of the foundation.”

To sit on the board of directors means that they have to have major backing by shareholders, Lou thought.  ‘And if this Phoenix Foundation, to hold seats on that many boards. . . . . ‘

Marc watched Lou’s face as he processed the information.  He could almost see the gears turning in Lou’s head.  Lou shot a glance at Edward.  His eyes grew big as the color drained from his face.  ‘Bingo!’ Marc thought.

Marc turned to the others.  “Would you please excuse us.”

The four board members quickly took their leave.

“Please have a seat,” Marc said indicating a chair.

“Did you see Pearlman’s face,” George Summers chuckled.

Edward nodded.  “I think Lou realized just how much power Marc now holds .”

“How long has Edward been your man?”

“How long has he sat on Trans Continental?”  Marc asked.

Lou frowned, he realized that Edward was elected to the board soon after the company was formed.  Then another fact came to him.  “If I remember right Edward only represents only about fifteen percent of the shares.”

Marc nodded, “You’re close, it’s eighteen percent.”

Lou let out a sigh of relief.

“But Edward is not the only board member that the foundation has.”

Lou slumped in his seat.  “What do you want?”

“I’m glad you understand the situation.  As for now you don’t have to worry about any interference in the running of Trans Continental.”

Lou sighed with relief.

“That is. . . . . “

Lou instantly tensed up.

“You keep out of my life.  If I get any more reports of your bumbling private eye looking into my affairs, then the gloves are off and you will find yourself out.”

“Is that all?”  Lou asked in defeat.

“That’s all I want,” Marc said calmly. 

Lou started to relax a bit.

“Oh, I would appreciate it if you would settle with *Nsync,” Marc stated.  Before Lou could protest he added.  “I would hate to bring to the attention of the board that there exist two sets of books.  Ms. Hathaway is truly a creative accountant.  I’m sure the IRS would find it a very interesting case to look into.”

“Am I just suppose to drop the suit?”

“Yes, that would look odd,” Marc pondered.  “The lawyers representing *Nsync will make a counter offer next week, just before they are scheduled to go to court.  Take twenty-four hours to ponder the offer before you accept.”

Lou thought hard for a minute before nodding his acceptance.

Marc rose for his seat, “Fine, then I think our business is concluded.”

Lou followed Marc out of the office.  “Edward, will you see to it that Lou here get safely back to his hotel?”

“Yes sir.  There is a car waiting.”

Marc turned to Lou offering his hand.  “Thank you for giving me some of your valuable time.  I will look forward to the conclusion of our mutual projects.”

“Yes, yes,” Lou stammered.  “Thank you for seeing me.”

Marc stood in the door way gazing at the Phoenix plaque hanging behind the desk. 

“Excuse me sir.  Will you be needing the room much longer?”

Marc looked at the aid from the foundation.  “No, we’re done here.  Be sure nothing happens to that plaque.”

“I’ll take good care of it sir.”

Marc returned to his suite to relax a bit before ordering in dinner.  Kicking off his shoes he fell into a large over stuffed chair.  Closing his eyes he reflected back on the days events.  The ringing of his cell phone brought him out of his thoughts.

Glancing at the caller ID he smiled.  “Hello, son.  How’s it going?”

“Dad, Dad, I’m scared.”

“Bobby, what’s wrong?”

“It’s Grams.  She won’t wake up from her nap.”

“Is her nurse there?”

“Yes, and so is the doctor.  I don’t know what’s going on.  No one will tell me anything.”

“Is the doctor or nurse near by?”

“No.  Wait, the doctor is coming down the stairs now.”

“Tell the doctor I want to talk to him.”

Marc could hear Bobby telling the doctor his dad wanted to talk to him.

“Hello, who am I addressing?”

“Doctor, I’m Marc Morgan, Bobby’s legal guardian.  What is the condition of Helen Brown?”

“I’m sorry to inform you that Mrs. Brown has passed away.”

“No!” Bobby shrieked.

“Doctor can you put Bobby back on the phone please?”

“Sure, just one moment.”

“Dad, my Grams is dead,” Bobby cried.  “What am I going to do?”

“You need to take a deep breath and try to calm down.  I know you are scared and I will be there as soon as I can.  I’m in New York now so it’s going to take me some time to get to you.  In the mean time I’m calling Mr. Bloom.  He knows your grandmothers wishes,  and will handle the arrangements.”

“How long is it going to take you to get here?”  Bobby asked.

“It’s a little after three here now.  With luck, and adjusting for the time difference, I may be able to get there before midnight.”

“That long!”

“Sorry kido, unless you can talk Mr. Scott into beaming me over it’s going to take that long.  How about I give you a call when I land at LAX.”

“Okay, I’ll be waiting for your call.”

“Josh, how many more of these interviews do we have scheduled?” Joey asked as he slid into his seat in the limo.

“Only two more.  But nothing until day after tomorrow.”

Lance checked his cell and found four missed calls and one voice message from Marc. 

Joey watched Lance as he retrieve his messages.  “What up?” Joey asked.

“I don’t know.  Marc wants me to call,” Lance said as he dialed Marc’s cell.

Marc had managed to finish packing, while notifying Helen Brown’s lawyer, Jeff Bloom of her passing.  He agreed to go right over to the house to check on Bobby and make the arraignments.  A quick call to the pilot of the foundations jet got the ball rolling.  Everything would be ready when he got to the airport.  As he checked out he attempted to call Lance several times but was switched to his voice mail.  After the fourth call he left a message for him to call.

The traffic this time of the day was heinous.  Marc had hoped to be in the air by now.  The limo was just pulling off the expressway when his cell range.

“Hi, love.”

“Hay, Boo.  We were doing interviews when you called.  What’s up?”

“I got a call from Bobby a little while ago.  His grandmother passed away this afternoon.”

“Oh god no!  How?  When?”

“She  laid down for a nap after lunch.  She passed in her sleep.”

“How is Bobby taking it?”

“He knew this was coming.  But he is upset and scared.  I have the plane waiting for me.  I should be in the air in about forty five minutes.”

“Is there anything I can do?”

“It’s going to take me hours to get there.  I don’t want Bobby to be alone.  Do you think you can go over and be with him until I arrive?”

“Of course.  We have the rest of the day off.  Do you think it a good idea for the others to come along?”

“I don’t think it would be a good idea.  Bobby and Joey  became close when he visited.  See if he’ll go with you.  James, I’m pulling up to the terminal now.”

“Don’t worry about Bobby.  We’ll see you soon.”

“I’ll give you a call when I land.  I love you James.”

“Love you too Boo.  Bye.”

Lance closed his cell and found his friends staring  at him.

“What's up with Bobby?”  Chris asked.

“He lost his grandmother this afternoon.”

“Shit!” Justin said softly.

“Is Marc flying out?”  Josh asked.

Lance nodded.

“How is Bobby holding up?”  Joey asked.

“He’s scared.”

“You going to Bobby?”

“Yeah, he needs his family now.  Joe, will you go with me?”


“Do you want us to go along?”  Justin asked.

“Not tonight.  Marc’s on his way and will be with him tonight.  Why don’t I give you a call in the morning when we know more.”

The horses in the corral heard the approaching pickup truck before Waddie.  Shading his eyes he could make out the driver.

Jannie gave Waddie a wave as she parked the truck.  “Hay there cowboy, how you doing?”

“Jannie, darlin’, it’s good to see you.  What brings you around these parts?”

“Well, I’m not sure.  I just got this feeling.  I don’t know how to put it.”

“I think I understand.  You’ve called.”

“Called?  I don’t understand.”

Waddie nodded toward the open pasture.  A dozen horses were standing in a circle.

“Oh,” Jannie said with understanding.

“I’ll meet you on the front porch when you’re done,” Waddie called after Jannie.


I want to thank Waddie Greywolf, for the use of his characters, Waddie and Gip Claymore, and of course, Mr. Uriel.
 His stories can be found at Nifty under Authoritarian and  Science Fiction or Fantasy. 
Or visit his web site
: Waddie Greywolf Novels

Copyright ©2000-2006 Phoenix Publishing.